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Effect of management strategies and clinical status on costs of care for advanced HIV.

Barnett PG, Chow A, Joyce VR, Bayoumi AM, Griffin SC, Sun H, Holodniy M, Brown ST, Cameron W, Sculpher M, Youle M, Anis AH, Owens DK. Effect of management strategies and clinical status on costs of care for advanced HIV. The American journal of managed care. 2014 May 1; 20(5):e129-37.

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the association between preexisting characteristics and current health and the cost of different types of advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care. METHODS: Treatment-experienced patients failing highly active antiretroviral treatment (ART) in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom were factorial randomized to an antiretroviral-free period and ART intensification. Cost was estimated by multiplying patient-reported utilization by a unit cost. RESULTS: A total of 367 participants were followed for a mean of 15.3 quarters (range 1-26). Medication accounted for most (61.8%) of the $26,832 annual cost. Cost averaged $4147 per quarter for ART, $1981 for inpatient care, $580 for outpatient care, and $346 for other medications. Cost for inpatient stays, outpatient visits, and other medications was 171% higher (P < .01) and cost of ART was 32% lower (P < .01) when cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) count was < 50 cells/ L compared with periods when CD4 count was > 200 cells/ L. Some baseline characteristics, including low CD4 count, high viral load, and HIV from injection drug use with hepatitis C coinfection, had a sustained effect on cost. CONCLUSIONS: The association between health status and cost depended on the type of care. Indicators of poor health were associated with higher inpatient and concomitant medication costs and lower cost for ART medication. Although ART has supplanted hospitalization as the most important cost in HIV care, some patients continue to incur high hospitalization costs in periods when they are using less ART. The cost of interventions to improve the use of ART might be offset by the reduction of other costs.

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